My twins have been having issues with bathtime. Frustrating. Aggravating. Nerve-jarring.
Two year olds have little rationality and a tired, frustrated mama sadly meets them head on in their irrationality. We've all been here.
You'd think I'd learn. One cannot rationalize with a two year old. Or two.
I was a single mama tonight. No daddy to buffer, to break, to conquer and divide.
Plan of attack: Power through.
And maybe ear plugs.
I prayed. Sure, it was under my soul's breath, sort of a "hail mary" on the fly, not even formally - or informally - worded...more like that prayer that begins as a vapor, a wisp, not even fully birthed, and then is thrown heavenward in a rush because the screaming has started and there are little people tearing hair and banging fists. And a mama's heart is pushed hard.
And God hears even those prayers.
I start the bathwater amidst the screaming. In spite of the screaming. Heart weary. Temper hot. Hopes scattered like so many rubber duckies.
Ryleigh's big brown eyes scrunch in sadness.
"How about a bubble bath?" I ask brightly. Subtext: Dear Jesus, pleeeeeeeaaaaaase!!
Brown eyes opened wide, a quick grin.
"Bubbles." The little word becomes a grain of hope. And aren't all good things birthed from some small grain of hope, some small word of gentleness, some small grace given freely?
I scramble for all the bubble bath I can find. There has never been so grand a bubble bath in the history of bubble baths. There are bubbles. Everywhere.
One down, one to go. The one-to-go is M.I.A. I hear her running and screaming. I catch her though. I stand her in the water. Tears stream. Screams build. Mama panics. Enter Big Sister. Who took over. Grace made manifest.
"Kadence, look at the bubbles," she says in her sweet, little-girl-grown-up voice, as she pats hope on a tummy and blows some magic foam off her hand.
My ears breathe. Deeply.
She single-handedly re-enamored Kadence (who is not easily re-enamored with anything) with water. In two minutes, I had two happy two-year-olds playing in bubbles.
I forget sometimes that God hears the smallest, most hasty of prayers. And that in His heart, those prayers matter, too. And sometimes the answers are just as seemingly small and unexpected. And the power of those small, unexpected answers astounds me. How often do we miss the small graces because we are too busy looking for the fleece to be made wet, the storm to be stilled, the cancer to be gone?
My answer was a bottle of bubble bath and my five year old's joyous love for her sisters.
What I could not do, God provided. It was not what I expected, probably not even what I wanted when I threw my prayer heavenward. But God provided. And when I see the cross and I am even more humbled. What I could not do, Jesus did. In the cross is all the grace I will ever need.
My life is filled with small graces, small answers to little prayers and sometimes not-so-little prayers. I am guilty of missing HIM. I almost missed Him made manifest in my firstborn, who managed to still my storm. May my eyes be open to see more of His grace because He may not always still my storm, but He will always provide what I need...right when I need it...right when I'm at the end of me. So that His grace might be bigger than my storm. So that His provision might be bigger than my need. So that He will get all the glory.
Grace Always Rises,